Archive for the ‘Internal Monologue’ Category

has robbed me of punctuation

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I am working overtime. Argh.

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I told my sister last night, “Oh no, clutter ate our Christmas.” She told me to be patient. I sighed. Our house is a pastopolis, three floors of hereditary packrattiness.

On Christmas Eve there were at least twenty different sets of plates unpacked and waiting to be washed before being put away again. Floral, geometric, plain, heritage… There were exemplars from every interior design magazine theme. (My mom is only this way with house stuff, and I use the word stuff because all the other words sound archaic, like accoutrements and bric-a-brac, although come to think of it they are more to the point. Bric-a-brac, in particular, sounds remarkably like the six plates, three glasses and plastic soup spoon which, as of last night, are with us no longer.)

The Past in Matchboxes

There is also the matter of the matchboxes. I saw them laid out on the ledge two days ago. Me: “I can’t believe you kept all these boxes!” Mom: “Yes, I think we can still use the matches.” Me, thought balloon: “Oh, I thought we were keeping them as examples of Philippine graphic design from the seventies.”

We hardly made any headway in the pile of trash bags and boxes underneath the stairs. I opened a huge trash bag to discover it contained a wealth of rags, from at least two decades (I could tell by the fabric). There were rags made from rags. I showed it to my mom and asked if we could spread the rag love, so to speak, and she said no, we can still use those. We are so carbon-neutral it hurts. I managed to persuade her to let go of most of my grandaunts’ clothes, and a set of curtains that had the barest suggestion of aesthetic consideration and shed fibers with every shake. I think the find that gave me the most pause was a wrapped wedding present from our family to “the happy newlyweds” dated 1996. I opened the package and took out matching plastic placemats and an oven mitt. I told my mom that the happy couple had just celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary. I hoped they had gotten along fine without the placemats and oven mitt, so our family could use them now.

A day from 1991

The item that gave me the second most pause was a page from a chintz-covered planner I used in 1991. The schedule is eerily similar to what I have today. It’s been 16 years of FGDs and pre-prods and recording sessions that start at 9 pm. At least my handwriting has moved on.

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there were four women who ruled the tiny world I called work.

When I first met Matec, she had a perm and a voice that carried across the conference room. She was brash, but she was also very kind. Once she sank her teeth into a project, she would not let go until we were all fainting from fatigue, just to get it done.

Elaine was a smart bomb with a dirty mouth and an intelligent smirk. She never had a plain old smile, it was either a smirk or a knowing grin. Her eyes would flash with her own mix of desperation and humor, and she used to don fake latex breasts and terrorize the artists into finishing her work on time.

Mother (Tere) was a terror, too, in her own way. She would always say, “What about…” and then let the sentence trail off, and we would all stare at the ceiling waiting for ideas to drop. She could be tactless, and very often emotional, but she was the creative strategist who always gave me a chance even if she thought my ideas were just a notch above crap.

Chiqui, I always thought, stood straighter and walked faster than everyone else because she was shorter. She was firm, and organized people and stray thoughts with ease.

They used to hang out together, have noisy lunches together, push one another to the limits of their patience, and Elaine would roll down the car windows and shout out Chiqui’s phone number to male passersby she thought were cute and needed to take Chiqui out on a date.

I saw them together at lunch today, a decade after most everyone parted ways. Elaine mimicked a Thai bar girl doing a razor special, Matec pulled out a giant folding fan from her red patent bag and gave everyone the lowdown on her body sculpting, Mother scolded Chiqui for not wearing her glasses and Chiqui ate everything on her plate while chatting left, right and center. It was a surge of nostalgia, sweeter than macapuno ice cream, and I was glad to see them being more themselves than ever.

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There’s no one in the creative department. Or in the accounts department for that matter. It’s all quiet and dark and cold in the office. I want to take a nap. But I must be productive! I have meetings. It is Thursday after all, the day we all must get through before Friday.

It is during these cold mornings that I find myself grateful for the heat radiating from my MacBook Pro. It’s not a bad handwarmer.

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the rain sheeting, careening crazy down the windshield. A splitsecond later, as the car moves forward, the ears receive the bounty of sound, the pitter too soon after the patter.

I imagine slow rain to have vowels like long e and long i, but a monsoon downpour does away with all the vowels, and insists on rapid-slurred consonants, kkkkk ppppp. The ride to the office gives me more than ample time to imagine the outposts of the language of rain, as traffic is an inch a minute. I see a man stalled on his bicycle, leaning against a parked car, too weary to struggle the last few meters to the waiting shed. The couple in the taxi in front of me ignore the rain, the jam, the taxi driver sneaking peeks at them in his rearview mirror. It is a rain-bleak morning, but they flutter their fingers on each other’s cheeks and make their own sunshine.

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I like this more detailed readability analysis, but alas, it does not have a widget. This blog falls in between TV Guide and Reader’s Digest. My old blog is on the high end of most popular novels, sneaking up on Time and Newsweek. I should use tintinnabulation, excoriate, phlogiston, anile and caterwaul more often, with a hefty sprinkle of pejorative and gerrymander.

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